Farnborough Bowl: Exciting Plans for Regeneration

The closure of the Farnborough Bowl and Farnborough Leisure Centre heralded the end of an era. The leisure centre has been a hub of the community for over 40 years, providing sports and leisure facilities for all the family.  As well as the usual gym, swimming pools, sports halls and creche the centre also housed treatment rooms, soft play and a martial arts studio. 

Furthermore, the centre was home to the very popular Farnborough Bowl.  The 10-lane bowling centre was home to a vibrant community of league bowlers and a go-to destination for casual bowlers from the local area. The Bowl drew together families, friends, colleagues and enthusiasts with its friendly atmosphere, Brunswick bowling system with cosmic bowling experience.

However, the closure of these facilities makes way for a new £20 million leisure centre development on the site. A recent announcement from Rushmoor Borough Council’s Cabinet pledges to ease the transition for the local community by ensuring the safe opening of Aldershot Pools and Fitness Centre as well as the Aldershot Lido, ready for the summer weather.  The council are also looking at whether alternative facilities can be made available to the residents of Farnborough.

Fortunately, local bowling enthusiasts are spoilt for choice in the local area. There are centres nearby in Camberley, Woking, at the Guildford Spectrum and also further afield in Basingstoke, Bracknell and Wokingham.

The new leisure facility is part of the significant regeneration of the Farnborough Civic Quarter, which seeks to put leisure, health and wellbeing at the heart of the community. Bringing not only a brand-new leisure and bowling centre but also the revamping of Farnborough Library, the Elles Hall Community Centre and Westmead House. The hope is that the new venue will increase use of the centre, by offering activities for all but especially those which will appeal to groups currently under-represented, including those with life-limiting disabilities, males and young people aged 17-34.

The current proposals for the new Farnborough Leisure Centre include:

  • A tenpin bowling centre
  • A 25m, eight lane main pool; 20m, four lane intermediate pool with movable floor
  • 150 station fitness suite
  • Eight court main hall; two sprung floor studios; one permanent spinning studio and two squash courts
  • A café, soft play area, physio treatment rooms, sauna and steam room

Although the transition for the staff and patrons of Farnborough Bowl and Farnborough Leisure Centre will be challenging, the commitment by the council to invest so significantly is encouraging.  As we all enter the summer with a greater appreciation of our own wellbeing, this exciting new venture looks to create an epi centre of fun, opportunity and wellness.

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